Saturday, May 27, 2017

An Insight Into Pet Immunization

Vaccination is the safest route to ensure that your pets remain in the pink of health. Vaccines are safeguard against diseases. From grave organ damages to turning fatal the risk is immense. Even others in the pet community are prone to risking contagious diseases. A responsible pet owner always prioritize on scheduling vets appointment for routine immunization, because it bolsters future immunity for a lifetime.

Diseases Which Require A Shot of Vaccine

Diseases if not checked and prevented can turn fatal for pets. For health safety immunization is the ideal way out. In the age of advanced medical science, killer diseases like distemper, parvovirus and feline enteritis are things of the past (with the exception of unprotected dogs who keep alive the incidence of infectious diseases).

Dogs need to be immunized for:
Parvovirus
Distemper
Leptospirosis
Bordatella
Hepatitis
Para-influenza virus
Rabies


Cats require immunization for the following diseases:

Flu
Feline Enteritis
Feline Leukaemia Virus
Chlamydia


Is Vaccination A Safe Option?

Skin tumors, allergies, and other adverse effects have been linked to the process, hence there is doubt about safety of vaccination. Moreover, whether annual vaccination is a must is also a major concern. Usually older dogs who have a suppressed immune system and who mingle less with peers do not require annual shot. But, in some cases repeat or booster vaccinations are important to boost up the immunity in a better way. Routine boosters are integral to preventive veterinary medicine because the pets can undergo an annual checkup. It is all up to the age and health condition, on which the immunization schedule is decided. It is also dependent on breed, medical history, lifestyle, immediate environment and traveling habit of the animals. Small puppies get their quota of immunity from mothers milk. But with age, this immunity wears down and vaccination becomes a necessity. Vaccine schedule begins when the puppy is six to eight weeks old.

There are some side effects which bother pets, post-vaccination. All these symptoms occur within six hours of vaccination. Here\s a list of the adverse reactions that might occur, and which need medical attention:

Low fever
Allergic Outbreak
Muscle Pain
Low Energy
Sluggishness
Appetite Loss
Facial Swelling
Lameness
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Breathing Difficulty
Seizures
Swelling, redness and hair loss (at the site of injection)
Miscarriage in Pregnant Dog
Suppressed Immune System


The Way A Vaccine Works

Vaccines are classified as core and non-core vaccines. The former one is vital, while the latter depends on the exposure risk of diseases. Vaccine shots create antibodies by injecting weakened or dead bacteria into the immune system of the pet. These antibodies become warriors fighting and blocking the diseases. Modified live vaccines or MLV stimulate immune response by injecting weakened strain of disease. MLVs require less number of shots, though the effect is stronger compared to killed vaccines which require frequent administration.

The Need Of Titer Test

Antibody titer test is required for measuring the level of antibodies in the bloodstream and a pets ability for natural protection against diseases. These blood tests are helpful, but cannot replace vaccination program completely. Higher titer level does not necessarily mean that the pet has 100% natural immunity; but, when the level is low it is surely a sign that the pet lacks in inherent protection capacity.

In a nutshell, vaccines are altered microorganisms which lessens or prevents risk of diseases. Thus, it is always safe to protect your beloved pet from life-threatening diseases with vaccines.

Related Read: Read out posts from Responsible Dog Ownership and Dog Care Tips
 

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Humans to Respond to the Howls of Their Pet Dogs



Am I crazy to say this???

Yes... Humans should respond to the howls of their dogs. And when I say this, most people think that I say this out of my eccentricity. However, fortunately a few are still there who have understood the simple logic that supports this seemingly insanely crazy idea of responding to the pet dog’s howls.

For last few weeks now I have been going through some priceless documents of canine behavioral researchers. The major section of the documents was about canine vocal sounds – Howls, Growls, Barks, Whines, Squeaks, Baying, Whimpers and so on… An understanding of canine Howls has been presented in this post, followed by some kind of logic supporting this eccentric idea – “Humans to respond to the howls of their dogs”.

Canine Instinct & Purpose of Howl
   
Although the purpose of this post is not to explain "why do dogs howl". But it is important to understand the purpose of dog howls before proceeding further.

Behavioral researchers have delineated a set of purposes of howls of dogs/wolves in the nature. As a matter of fact, you will not hear a dog howling too frequently; it is quite infrequent… though not rare.  Dogs, as for wolves, instinctively deliver howls under several situations:

1. When they feel the need to gather the pack at a point
2. When they need to reinforce the identity of a pack

 In both the situations the pack members, on hearing the first dog’s howl, get together and join him/her with group howling. But the dogs staying in the house with humans usually get their food ready; therefore the need for howls for hunting for food is almost zero. But howls are still delivered by them as an attempt to gather their pack members (humans and other dogs in the house) for several reasons other than hunting. As an example situation, when a dog senses the presence of trespassers/ strangers within his/her territory, then he/she may want to gather the pack members (humans and other dogs in the house) to join him for prevent the pack from probable impending danger. Here the dog’s “pack instinct” comes to play its role along with “territorial instinct” and “guard instinct”.

In the wild the other dogs (by the dint of their natural instinct) positively respond to the howl of the fist dog and get assembled to reinforce their “pack instinct” and “territorial instinct”.

For a dog that lives with humans, his pack is composed of himself and his human members. Each deliver of howl, according to the nature of purposes, therefore needs to be responded through two distinctive actions:

1. Making yourself available with your dog - By gathering there with your dog serves his first purpose and stimulates his confidence that reinforces his “pack instinct” and “territorial instinct”
2. Vocalized response – By joining him with vocal responses (NOT against the howl, but for supporting his action - howl) you will stimulate his “guard instinct”.

To conclude, dog owners who do not bother to respond to their dogs’ howling or who fails to effectively do that are actually spoiling their dog’s very significant instincts. They are not doing their duties as a pack members. Responsible dog ownership doesn't end with providing your dog with good food, fresh water, providing proper training, and meeting all vet bills. At the first place, it includes understanding dog's behaviors that are genetically ingrained.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Correlations Between Dog Types & Owners Personality Traits



This may sound mysterious, but this is true. It is possible to discover much about a persons nature by analyzing his behavior, what he does and how he carries himself. It is also possible to determine much about the personality and nature of a person by knowing exactly the dog breed he likes. Yes, the dog breed you choose reflects your personality traits to a great extent, suggests an extensive  research on human psychology.

Live Science was told by Lance Workman, a researcher and psychologist at Bath Spa University in the UK, “we go for dogs that are a bit like us, just as we go for a romantic partner who is a bit like us.” Research has suggested that owners of small or toy dog breeds exhibit unique personality traits like calmness, openness of mind, intellectually curious about new experiences. Moreover, they usually turn out to be appreciative about art and culture. Sir Isaac Newton’s dog Diamond was a small breed (not many and reliable records could be discovered as to what breed exactly Diamond was). Sir Newton was passionate about animals and loved Diamond very much. Diamond might have been his one of the closest companies! Newton once told one of his friends that Diamond helped him discover TWO very important theorems one morning, although, according to him one of those theorems had an error and the other had an exception. One evening Diamond accidentally knocked down the lamp over the scientist’s big pile of papers which consequently burned his years’ of research works. Sir Newton, without losing his cool on his beloved companion said, Oh, Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done”. This is not just a story, but a real incidence, that gives an indication about Newton’s nature and characteristic traits. Sir Newton was “intellectually curious about new experiences”!

Researcher Lance Workman and his team was interested about studying how actually personality traits use to influence a person’s social behavior. It was earlier noticed that there had been huge differences in personality traits between doggie people and non-doggie people. Doggie people here mean people who stay closely with dogs. It has been noticed that dog owners are more agreeable as compared to non-dog owners. It has also been noticed that certain dog breeds is associated with certain types of people which means that types of dog (pure breed) could be matched with the people who like that particular breed.

Researches made in conjugation with the Kennel Club turned out to be quite successful and ended up with offering immensely important information about human psychology and behavior traits. Kennel Club has categorized the dog breeds into 7 broader groups, as follows:

1. Gun dogs group: Labrador, Golden Retriever
2. Hound dogs: Greyhound, Beagle, Afghan hound
3. Pastoral dogs: German Shepherds, Collies
4. Terrier group: Staffordshire bull terrier;
5. Toy breeds: Chihuahuas
6. Utility breeds: Bulldogs
7. Working groups: Doberman pinscher

As part of this research the Workman and his team formulated an online questionnaire that included a set of questions to be asked to 1000 dog owners, where all dog owner owned purebred dogs. The questionnaire was formulated with an intention to measure what according to psychologists are Big Five personality traits. The “Big Five” traits to be measured are:

1. Openness
2. Conscientiousness
3. Extroversion
4. Agreeableness
5. Neuroticism (measure for the degree of mental anxiety)

Result of the research work: The evaluation of correlations between the dog breed types and the personality traits of the people who like the particular dog breed.

Enthusiasts of pastoral and utility dog breeds - Most extroverted of any dog owners - socially confident people who can do a lot for their friends.
Enthusiasts of gun dogs - Most agreeable
Enthusiasts of hound dog breeds – Emotionally most stable
Enthusiasts of toy dog breeds – Most agreeable as well as most open and imaginative

Related read here: LiveScience - Like Dog, Like Owner

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fights in Pack - Dominance vs Submissive Gesture and My Big Mistake

dog fight


Do not make the same mistake as I did by getting into their fights to stop the war. To many dog lovers across the globe this post may sound a bit too off-beat as I have always spoken against cruelty to animals and saving lives...

Well, this post is published followed by a few months of critically studying behavioral components, dominance signals in dogs that live in pack - in houses or in the wild. I have also consulted documents of several canine psychologists and behaviorists, including Nick White and the genius Professor Stanley Coren and several others before coming up with this post.

I suggest dog owners - especially those who have more than one dog - not to tread into the conflicts between dogs. The situation may worsen up, not just because you may be hurt badly, but  because by interfering you will actually prevent them from framing a natural hierarchical structure. People who share lives with dogs should know that there are "set of natural rules" that act as determinants of "dominance", "ownership" and "territoriality".

Conflicts between two dogs in a pack usually starts, progresses and ends based on these natural rules. And there are very rare instances of big blood shed. Often times there's nothing more than small wounds, punctures and cuts, which are not usually fatal. These are situations when dogs should be better left alone to fight and things will be sorted out naturally, with one of them exhibiting submissive gestures. The moment one shows submission and backs off, the other dog usually stops his attacks. This submission of one dog automatically places the other dog higher in the natural pack hierarchy, which he was fighting for - the "Dominance" in this case.

What mistake I did?

Some of my readers may have this question now... what was my mistake with Reva and Rechie. The situation was little different. It wasn't a fight for position, but for ownership.

Mistake 1: I pushed them into competitive play (fetching a single ball and there were two dogs), which generated a fight for ownership of the property (ball).

Mistake 2: I got into their conflict to stop them and ended up with some minor wounds that required stitches.


However, in continuation with my Mistake 2, the wounds on my palm, hands and face, and some cuts in their bodies here and there were not the points of concern. By interfering I could set them apart, locked them in separation for a couple of hours, but they could not determine who among them were dominant. The fight did not end naturally with one being submissive. Which means they could not instinctually use the "natural rules" for determining the dominant member of the pack. Therefore, there was always high chance for re-occurrence of similar fights again in their life time.

Here a better understanding of Why Clashes Occur in a Pack could be found.


Dominance vs Submission - Does that work for all dogs?

As long as the dogs are properly bred by educated and sensible breeder things should work fine. Incorrectly bred specimens will fail to understand their limit and will not be submissive. This indicates a tendency to disregard the signals to stop and natural rules. Correctly combined genes should strike a proper behavioral balance. Aggression and Submission are two most significant component of temperament that are governed by genes. Hyper-submissive nature and hyper-aggressiveness are as undesirable as hypo-submissive nature and hypo-aggressiveness. Conflicts among dogs with imbalanced behavioral configuration can be fatally dangerous without human intervention. Dog breeding is an art and a science both... rather a "scientific art" or an "artistic science". Science of Dog Breeding needs to be considered seriously. It is not everybody's cup of tea. Dog breeding for making money has always ended up with wrong types of progenitors, with major and suppressed or visible problems either related to physical or physiological or psychological. A related study on Role of Gene in The Character of a Dog.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Why does a clash occur in a Pack?




 6 small mistakes can make mess in the pack

A proper rank hierarchy in a pack is essentially necessary. Most clashes and conflicts occur when two or more members in a pack are not clear about their ranking. It is natural in dogs to be able to choose their alfa member the pack leader, and is not wise for you to select a dog to play the dominant role in the pack. Conflicts occur when confusion arises about their position. The owner is the best person who can prevent fights within a pack. There can be a number of faults of an owner that can encourage his dogs to get in a fight, for instance:


Mistake 1 - Treating all dogs equally: We do not suggest bringing in distinction in terms of love and care. All dogs of a pack should equally cared for. We suggest NOT treating them equally means supporting the dominating member in his or her dominance, unless he/she is breaking the pack rule. Supporting his dominion is rather important and should be restricted to certain preferences such as, getting food before the other pack members (however, all dogs should get their required share of food), getting pat before the beta members, allowed to get out to play before others, and so on

Mistake 2 - Trying to Choose your dominating member: This is the worst kind of mistake a dog owner can ever make. Dogs in a pack are instinctively able enough to choose their pack leader. Dominance is established through interaction between themselves and through body languages. Any kind of interference in this will definitely lead to conflicts which may take a severe shape. Trying to get taller over the other members, delivering voluminous bark, territoriality etc. are the signs of establishing leadership. However, over aggression is a serious fault.

Mistake 3 - Confusion Dominating or Alfa member vs Pack Leader: Dominating or alfa member doesn't mean that he is the leader of the pack, although these have very close resemblance. Alfa member of the pack is the dog that has efficiently established the dominance, but leader of the pack is YOU. Even the most dominating male of the pack should act according to YOUR command and should act withing the chalked out boundaries/ limitations set by YOU. Once you loose the pack leadership position the likelihood of clashes with a pack will certainly increase.

However, in relation to this point  - "Mistake 3 Confusion Dominating or Alfa member vs Pack Leader", there comes a whole lot of confusion as to how can you set yourself as a leader of the pack. Remembering the German dog trainer Colonel Konrad Most, "in the absence of compulsion neither human education nor canine training is feasible. Even the most soft-hearted dog-owner cannot get on terms with his idolized favorite without some form of compulsion." This means, some sort of force/compulsion is needed in order to establish a dominance or leadership in the pack. 

Chances are there that the colonel had studied the natural methods of "alfa membership establishment in wild wolves", where the king wolf establishes the leadership in their natural hierarchical frame only through winning physical fights or may be influenced by the . Modern researcher like Professor Stanley Coren have a different view altogether

"The idea of the alpha only seems to be valid in artificial packs", thinks sir Coren.


Mistake 4 - Not setting up a rule set for pack: It is important that you set rules (limitations and boundaries) for your pack in order to maintain discipline and prevent bad pack behaviors. Not been able to set rules for your pack proves that you are a bad pack leaders and chances are there that your pack members may be confused about the dos and don'ts and may get involved in clashes or conflicts.

Mistake 5 - New member introduced in the pack and left unsupervised: It is both a duty and a challenge to introduce a new dog into the pack. The challenge lies in efficiently socializing the new members to the existing ones in the pack, failing which may breed confusion and conflicts. If you find the new member is dominating by nature, it is wise to keep him or her kenneled separately. Remember, no two dominating members should be give a pack to rule. Such mistakes usually end up with an irreversible loss.

Mistake 6 - Not treating properly the old dog that used to dominate: When a dominant gets older he/she fails to retain his or her position. The leadership position is being taken over by another dominant member of the pack which breeds confusion and increases the chance of conflicts within the pack. It is important to help the old dog retain his or her position. For a dog that has become older with fragile health condition it is important to support his dominion as long as it doesn't break your pack rule.


Canine dominance instincts

Every single problem related to dog behavior and obedience are not related to dominance.

Understanding the canine behavior related to dominance is important. Dogs in the wild and in a pack form their own social structure that should not be disturbed. Through their interaction with each other they tend to choose the leader of the pack and each of them places themselves in distinctive ranks that is deserved by particular member, which form a unique dominance hierarchy. Dominating characteristics is the unique feature present in a particular dog and established by him or her in his or her own ways.

Conflicts and clashes are the outcome of serious disagreement between the members of a pack. This disagreement may be related to hierarchy or territoriality or ownership. Better the dominance hierarchy is maintained, smoother will be your dogs life in the pack. Here's yet another explanatory chapter on clash - Fights in Pack - Dominance vs Submissive Gesture and My Big Mistake

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Genes Role in Dogs Characteristics


Gene is actually the basic tool of inheritance for any animal. Canines are of no exception. In canines like for any other animal, gene is the carrier of information in a biological system. However, any particular trait in your dog is actually not determined by any specific gene, but as a matter of fact a single trait in your dogs can be driven by a set of genes. Each single genetic character trait in German Shepherd, as in all other canine breeds is determined by a set of gene. Colors and patterns in dogs can be considered as one of the best instances for the fact that a characteristics can be determined by many genes, and not just only a single gene. German Shepherd Dog has many colors and patterns. This goes beyond all doubts that these entire range of patterns and colors in GSD or in any other dogs is the result of the roles of multiple genes, instead of just one. While a set of genes control the color or patterns in a dog, another set of genes determine the distribution of the patterns.

Alike almost all higher animals, dogs are also blessed with two sets of chromosomes one set from the dams side and the other set from the sires side. Dogs, alike Wolves, have 36 chromosomes in each set, which results an incredibly huge volume of permutation and combination of chromosomes. Hence, possibility of experiencing more than one litter-mates with exactly the same combination of chromosomes is hugely rare. This means two dogs (from same litter) almost cannot have all character traits (behavioral, physiological, and colors) exactly identical.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership


The Health Benefits of Dog Ownership Coming home to the unconditional love of their beloved pet can be the highlight of many dog owners’ days: Owning a pet can boost your mood, make you feel loved and love in return, and ensure that you are as well-exercised as your four legged friend, thanks to a regular regime of twice daily walks. Whilst the physical health benefits of dog ownership are well documented, there are a myriad of additional emotional and mental benefits to owning your own four legged companion. Here are just some of the surprising health benefits of dog ownership:

Dog Ownership Can Reduce Allergies
 
Many families, particularly families with young children, choose not to own dogs because they have an unfair reputation for either causing or exacerbating allergies, particularly asthma and other allergies related to air quality. However, this is actually a case of misinformation, and serves a disservice to dogs: according to research conducted by pediatrician James E. Gern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, owning a pet during childhood can actually lower a child’s likelihood to related allergies by as much as 33 percent. Children who are exposed to dogs regularly in their infant hood are also less likely to suffer from eczema. In fact, for families with otherwise healthy children, there are many benefits related with introducing a dog to your family unit. Children exposed early on to animals, such as dogs, within their homes tend to develop stronger lifelong immune systems overall. What better reason to get your kids that dog they keep asking for?

Dog Ownership Can Improve Mental Health
 
Dogs are well known for giving their owners a level of unconditional love that can be incredibly heart-warming. Dog ownership can also provide individuals with a sense of purpose, and companionship when you are feeling alone in the world. All of these individual aspects combine to ensure that dog ownership can be particularly good for improving mental health, especially amongst individuals suffering from depression or anxiety disorders, or those recovering from issues such as long term physical or mental illness, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Several studies have conclude that just being with a healthy and jovial companion pet relieves depression and anxiety and boost immunity. The power of dog ownership, and the company of dogs, is so important in treating many mental health conditions (including loneliness and depression) that Animal-assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet-facilitated Therapy (PFT) are becoming increasingly popular treatment options, focusing on paring individuals in need of support with a highly trained animal that can help to improve their mood and aid their rehabilitation.

Dog Ownership Will Keep You Active
 
One of the most widely researched and reported aspects of dog ownership is the benefits that it can have on your physical health. Dog owners tend to be slimmer, fitter, and exercise more. It’s no wonder, when you consider that research has found that dog owners walked for an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who only walked for an average of 168 minutes per week. Children who own dogs are also more likely to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity than their peers who do not own dogs. Whilst dog ownership doesn’t force you outside come rain or shine, dog ownership promotes walking and getting outside for some fresh air unlike any other activity. The fact is, when you love your dog their needs come first: that means long walks whatever the weather and playing fetch for hours, even when it’s raining outside, and this can only benefit your long term physical health.

Dog Ownership Could Improve Your Social Life
 
Dog owners are a social bunch, and this is largely because their beloved pets encourage them to be. Owning a dog is a wonderful way to help individuals to overcome their social shyness, and dogs also tend to make you more approachable. According to one study conducted by Warwick University, in the UK, 40% of dog owners reported that they had made new friends as a direct result of owning their four legged friend. Therefore, if you are lonely and looking for the company of a companion who will never let you down, whilst also encouraging you to get out and meet no people, then there is no better time to get yourself a beloved new dog.

Author Bio: This is an article by Helen Bell

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

I am sure you can understand how much encouragement I need and how much I value your company to get inspired to run this blog. My motive is to offer most genuine information that can help my readers to become better owners for their canine children. In this happy moment of the year I would like to wish all of you, your family and friends and most importantly your furry kids a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May this Christmas and the year to come be special and be surrounded by love, hope and inspiration!

Hope You Will Like Our Facebook Page 


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Monday, December 21, 2015

My Dog Shows Hyper Aggression Towards Other Animals - What Might Be The Reason?


Most common complain by dog owners about their dogs is over aggression. Although I have already talked a bulk about dog aggression in this blog viz... Why Dogs Become Aggressive, Understanding Dog Attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Dogs, yet here's another post on similar topic - "Dog Aggression" - a little different though - "Is Your Dog Showing Aggression Towards Animals?".

Dogs within a pack or external to a specific pack may show a wide range of behavior when they come across other dogs. A very recent study on dogs' aggression towards other dogs shows that such behavior is triggered by several underlying  stimulants, including the following:

  • Territoriality
  • Competition for ranking
  • Fear or traumatic experience
  • Acquired behavior


Territorial Aggression in Dogs

There are many instances of dogs showing aggression towards other animals that treads into their territory. Apart of pedigreed dogs, mongrels in the wild exhibits territoriality.  Territorial or Possessive  aggression in dogs is normal and commonly seen in moderate to little above moderate degree in breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Bull Mastiff, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Giant Schnauzer and Weimaraners. Overtly territorial dogs can be potentially dangerous.  Over territoriality is, however, a type of behavioral problem. Territorial aggression may root from sexual maturation, especially in males and lack of early socialization or conditioning to situations and presence of other animals.


Establishing Hierarchy


Dogs showing aggression towards other dogs in the same house may be an indication of hierarchy problem. Canine dominance instinct demands them naturally forming a social hierarchical structure within their pack, with the most dominant specimen as the alpha canine member of the pack. The presence of two or more dominant dogs can lead to a fight for ranking.

Note: In the context of ranking it is strongly suggested not breaking the dominance hierarchy when there is a pack of more than one dog. The correct way is to reinforce the dominance instinct of the more dominant dog. The best way to reinforce the dominance instinct of a actual dominant dog  involves a series of systematic exercises, without breaking the natural hierarchical format. Once that is done correctly all members in the pack will understand the hierarchy and identify the most dominant dog as the actual alpha member. This will help to maintain pack peace.

  A related read in this context: Why does a clash occur in a pack 


Traumatic Experience in The Past

Past traumatic experience due to attack(s) by other dogs or cats is another very common reason for many dogs turning aggressive towards other animals. Such aggression begins with fear, and eventually turn out to be potentially dangerous aggressive behavior towards the specific species, making it difficult for the dog to live together in a pack or to go out to meet other animals. Such social aggression are, at times, difficult to be corrected, because such behavior persists even after the handlers strategic intervention. Such aggression may be exhibited towards a specific species - the species with which the particular dog had a traumatic encounter in the past.


Acquired behavior: Commonly found in dogs living in a pack. If the alpha member of the pack shows any habitual behavior (desirable or undesirable), the puppies or other omega specimens living together with the dog adopts the behavior. An incorrectly socialized alpha dog can have an innate ability to influence the behavioral change in his or her pack members. Hence, it is important that you, as the dog owner need to positively control the environment for the entire pack in which you want the omega dogs or a puppy to be in.  In case your alpha dog's bad behaviors are influencing the habit of your puppy or omega dog then it is important to keep the dog with undesirable behavior separate from the rest of the pack members.

  Good read on socialization: Checklist For Socializing Your Puppy


Suggestions 

  • Positively reinforcing the dominance instinct of the most dominant dog does not mean ignoring or neglecting the omega member. Do not give the omega less than alpha, just last.
  • Never Reward or stimulate aggressive behavior in your dog
  • Best way is to resist this behavior immediately after your dog shows aggression  with a "sharp No" and "firm Jerk"
  • Next time it is best to ignore such an undesirable behavior
  • Hold the leash short and firmly when passing by other dogs, keeping calm and ignoring with no prior command with an intention to check such situations beforehand
  • Regular contact with other animals will help the dog to strengthen social confidence

Special Tips: Inadvertent Reinforcement includes rewarding the dog for stopping a behavior (i.e. Barking at a other dogs in the park) that is not desirable by his human pack mates. In this process the dog learns to use that particular behavior (Barking) to get the reward; not at the other dogs. This way the trainer can inadvertently reward the undesirable behavior to redirect the behavior towards a different thing from the thing that is not wanted.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How to Make This Christmas a Healthy Christmas For Your Dog



Christmas is almost here! You must be looking for ways to make this Christmas a safe and happy time for yourself and your dog. WelcomeDogLovers has talked in volume about Christmas for dogs. There are innumerable Christmas gift ideas that you can find in the Internet. Starting from indestructible Christmas dog toy to special Christmas cookies for you dog there are millions of gift ideas that tend to confuse a dog lover like you.

How better can you wow your dog than by making this Christmas a specially healthy time for him/her!

Home Made  Christmas Nutriment...

A special meal... call it by any name you want. The nutrition that this Christmas Nutriment can give is unparalleled.


Ingredients to make this Christmas nutriment for your dog

  • Lean beef - 400 gm (good source of sodium, potassium, protein, vitamin A, D, B-6, B-12, calcium, iron, magnesium)
  • Beef liver - 50 gm (Good source of protein, vitamins A, B12, riboflavin, zinc, selenium, antioxidants called selenoproteins)
  • Chicken neck - 5-6 full size (Good source of vitamins A, B-12, B-6, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc)
  • Chicken giblets (including heart and gizzard) - 100 gm (Good source of sodium, potassium, carbohydrate, protein, vitamins A, C, D, B-12, B-6, calcium, iron, magnesium)
  • Spinach leaves - 4-5 leaves (Good source of dietary fiber, natural sugar, protein, Vitamins A, C, D, B-6, B-12, calcium, iron, magnesium)
  • Carrots (properly pilled) - 2-3 medium pieces (Good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins A, D, B-6, B-12, C, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium)
  • Red potato (properly pilled) - 2-3 medium pieces (Good source of vitamins E, A, B-6 and C, iron, folate, calcium, potassium and copper)
  • Green beans - 5-6 pieces (Good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, K, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin,thiamin, beta carotene)
  • Pumpkin (properly pilled) - 80 gm (Good source of vitamin A, fiber and anti-oxidants)
  • Green brussels sprouts - 50 gms chopped or shredded (Good source of vitamins A, B-1, B-6, K, C, manganese, folate, fiber, potassium)
  • Cabbage leaves - 4-5 leaves chopped or shredded (Good source of natural anti-oxidants, sodium, potassium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, vitamin A, B-6, C, iron, manganese, calcium)
  • Turmeric - 1 or 2 pinches (Very potent anti-inflammatory, reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs, natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent)
Note: The above quantity has been determined for several servings. In case you want just one or two servings for your dog you should control the quantity as per need.


How to make this Christmas dog nutriment

Step 1: Wash the meat products (beef, liver, chicken necks and giblets) properly in hot water

Step 2. Wash the vegetable ingredients (leaves of spinach, cabbage, green beans, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, carrots and red potato) properly in hot water

Step 3: Chop the beef and liver into approximately 1 sq inch size

Step 4: Chop the chicken necks into approximately 3 inch long pieces

Step 5: Keep the chicken giblets as their natural sizes

Step 3: Chop the carrots pumpkins, beans and red potato into small pieces - to more or less uniform size

Step 4: Shred brussels sprouts, spinach and cabbage leaves into small fine strips

Step 5: Pour all ingredients in a cooking pan - preferably a pressure cooker

Note: The size of the cooker is important. The overall ingredients should not fill more than 2/3 of the cooker. Make sure there is enough water to create adequate steam. Do not fill it more than half full with water.

Step 6: Put the turmeric

Step 7: Pour water to make a broth

Step 8: Start cooking with over high heat. Once the cooker comes up to full pressure, lower the heat to a low burner mode in order to maintain pressure without exceeding it. If the pressure comes down raise the heat up

Step 9: Cooking for 9-10 minutes in low burner setting should be okay


How to serve

Serve only when the broth comes down to room temperature
The broth can, along with its ingredients, can be mixed with rice to make it a complete day meal. Store this Christmas nutriment in the refrigerator and server as needed.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Does Your Dog Need Vitamins?

Often times my friend and their acquaintances who get introduced to me ask this question: "Does my dog need vitamins?"

Most of the times it becomes really difficult  for me to answer such questions. As a matter of fact, dogs that are on balanced diet should not be needing additional supplements of minerals and vitamins. So if your dog is on balanced diet he is most likely to be getting all necessary vitamins and minerals from his food.

Does your dog get complete and balanced diet?  

Well, most of the dog owners who have been asked this question, have said that they tend to keep their pooches only on premium dog foods. It confuses me the most when they talk about premium and super premium dog food.  It is really not easy to find a properly balanced and complete food for your dog. However, dogs fed only on home made diet are more prone to suffer a lack of vitamins and minerals. Even though your dog is getting a correctly complete diet, it is important to check if his system can actually absorb the nutrition from the food. Dog with hepatic and/or pancreatic problems may not be able to absorb the full nutritional value of the food he eats. In such conditions the dog may require additional supplements of vitamins, alongside digestive and pancreatic enzyme supplements.

Do not give your dog just any multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplements because he is thin.

So how do you know if your dog needs a vitamin or could benefit from a particular vitamin supplement?

General Rule of Thumb:  You should not give your dog any single vitamin or any multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplement because you think your dog is thin and he needs vitamins. Only a registered veterinarian can correctly recommend you any specific nutriceutical and/or dietary supplements or any single vitamin based on the diagnosis. Your veterinarian may require you to get some biochemical analysis and serum concentrations done too before he/she would like to prescribe a specific vitamin supplement and the dosage.

Hypovitaminosis in Dogs 

Deficiency of different vitamins can pose different symptoms. Hypovitaminosis are more common in dogs that are kept on single type of home made food. Home made food is good - probably better than those commercial foods available out there, as long as it contains all ingredients to make the diet complete and balanced.

Certain conditions like Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), in which the pancreas fails to produce insulin (which regulates the body's blood sugar levels) and digestive enzymes (which helps to digest the food and gets the nutritional value of the food)  may leave your dog exposed to the risk of hypovitaminosis. Dogs with EPI cannot digest the food and derive the food's nutritional values. This enhances the chance of deficiency of vitamins, minerals, fats and protein. EPI dogs also suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Deficiency of Vitamin D

A study published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology examined the range of sufficiency of vitamin D in dogs. The study proved a link between low vitamin D levels and chances of cancer in dogs. Vitamin D deficiency in dogs reduces the ability to absorb calcium from the diet, thereby leaves your dog exposed to the risk of lack of calcium.

Most common signs of vitamin D deficiency in dogs are:

Poor mineralization of bone and lameness
Rickets
Lethargy
Loss of muscle mass
Locomotion turns slower or inability to move in sever cases
Swellings at the growth plates on the bones


Deficiency of Vitamin B12

B12 vitamin is an one of the most essential vitamins for dogs. Vitamin B12, in conjugation with iron and folic acid, helps the dog's nervous system functions well. B12 vitamin is also important for normal cell growth. When your dog is deficient in vitamin B12, he may become inactive, slow-moving, depressed, lacking energy and alertness, lethargic.

Most common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in dogs are:

Gastrointestinal malfunction
Nervous system malfunction
Lethargy and fatigueness
Loss of appetite
Unsteady gait and disorientation
Weakness on muscle
Dizziness
Weight loss
Spasticity
Dementia

 Hypervitaminosis in dogs

Overdosing of vitamins and minerals can hurt your dog. The most common ingredients in a multivitamin includes: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), folic acid, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), biotin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium and vitamins A, D, and E. Among these excess of calcium, iron and Vitamin D are commonly found.

Among these ingredients, toxicosis is commonly seen for iron and vitamin D in dogs.

Vitamin-induced toxicosis in dogs is common in dogs that are given too much of any specific vitamins or multi-vitamins. Vitamins in excess is as dangerous as the conditions when your dog suffers a deficiency of vitamins. Although toxicity is not too common in dogs, but excess of any specific vitamin(s) and/or mineral(s) can bring in harm to your dogs.

Chances of Toxicity of Vitamins in dogs

An overload of vitamins and/or minerals can have a bad impact on his/her health. Excess of different vitamins poses different problems. Primary vitamins are required by a dog are vitamins B complex, A, C, D, E and K. While the vitamins C and B complex, among these are water soluble, the rest are fat soluble vitamins. Among all the fat soluble vitamins, only A and D shows potential toxicity in dogs, if administered in excess.

The water soluble vitamins - B-complex and C are comparatively safe. The tissues of a dog's body cannot store these vitamins, when administered in excess. Vitamins B-complex and C are eliminated through the urine.

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